IT WAS ON THIS DATE FEBRUARY 26, J-DILLA RELEASED HIS DEBUT SOLO STUDIO ALBUM WELCOME 2 DETROIT

Welcome 2 Detroit is the debut studio album by American hip hop recording artist J Dilla, released on February 26, 2001. The album followed his group Slum Village’s critically acclaimed Fantastic, Vol. 2, and kicked off BBE’s “Beat Generation” series (producer-driven albums).

Welcome 2 Detroit bears the name “Jay Dee” as well as “J Dilla”, and marks the first time Dilla (who until that point was still known as Jay Dee) officially used the name J Dilla.

Welcome 2 Detroit is a showcase of the talent from J Dilla’s hometown, introducing a pre-Slum Village Elzhi on the song “Come Get It”, and making room for his longtime 1st Down partner Phat Kat on the appropriately titled “Featuring Phat Kat”.

The album sound ranges from grimy hardcore hip hop (“Pause”) to electronic psychedelia (“B.B.E.”). The track “Rico Suave Bossa Nova” is inspired by Brazilian music group Azymuth. As Dilla mentions in the extensive liner notes:

I fell in love with Brazilian music the day I listened to a Sérgio Mendes album. We used to have jam sessions in the studio after work was done, (and) one day my mans Karriem Riggins came through. I asked him for “Bossa nova“. He gave me exactly what I needed.

J Dilla covers Donald Byrd’s “Think Twice”, singing the lead vocals.

On “African Rhythms”, J Dilla covers the Afro beat group Plunky & the Oneness of Juju’s song of the same name, replaying all the instruments as well as mimicking the spoken introduction.

On the albums outro “One”, J Dilla takes a moment to thank all who have helped him in the hip-hop industry, including Slum Village, Q-Tip and De La Soul. The Pop band ‘N Sync is also mentioned. An instrumental version of the album was released on August 23, 2005.

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